Following 10 days of rest Shaun Simpson was once again alongside Adam Sterry in the Wilvo Virus Performance KTM awning as the Maxxis British Championship finally made its return to Scotland.
Sterry was the first to take to the track and immediately made a bid for pole position, but came up just short and ended a 10th down in the runner-up spot. Simpson was in a similar position in MX1, as he lost the top spot just as the session was about to conclude and was forced to settle for second. Both riders were in a good spot entering the motos, however, and clearly capable of contending for wins.
The first MX1 encounter was fairly uneventful for Simpson, as he slotted into third early on and then held that position for the duration. A small crash prevented him from making a run for a spot in the top two late in the race. That consistent finish set him up well in the standings and also for a good overall result.
Simpson started second in his final moto and had the ‘Simpson Army’ on their feet, as he immediately made a bid for the lead. Although he could not quite make a move stick, he shadowed Tommy Searle through the opening laps and eventually claimed the lead at the halfway mark.
Simpson looked set to take the moto victory following that and with it the overall, but was caught out towards the end by a wayward backmarker and forced off the track. The time that was lost proved to be costly, as Searle went through and although Simpson made an audacious attempt to wrestle the lead back on the last lap he fell just short and was forced to take second in the moto and third overall on the day. He still leads the championship by 16 points thanks to another consistent scorecard.
“I was a little bit behind Tommy Searle and Jake [Nicholls] in the first race and eventually went down,” said Simpson. “I settled for third in that one, purely because I was too far back to make anything of it.
“I slotted into second in the second race and Tommy had around a five or six-second lead, but then he made a mistake. I passed him and with two laps to go, I would say that I had it under control. Josh Spinks saw the blue flags at that point and was going to chop up the inside of the corner. I had not pre-empted that he was going to do that, so ran into his back wheel and went off track. That allowed Tommy to cut up the inside and take the lead back. I got back on the track and closed him down, but I could not make it happen. Tommy won the last moto and pushed me down the order to third, which was a bit of a shame. It would have been lovely to stand on the top step of the podium in front of the home crowd. I only lost five points in the championship today, though.”
When the first of two MX2 motos got underway at midday, Sterry had a mediocre start on the cusp of the top five. A series of quick moves saw him enter the top three after a couple of laps and then start to work on the top two. Finding a way into second proved to be difficult, despite multiple attempts, but Sterry thrived towards the end of the moto to steal the runner-up spot and secure 22 points.
Although Sterry didn’t quite take the holeshot in the second MX2 moto, he made quick work of the riders ahead of him to take the top spot by the end of the first lap. Sterry, who was clearly the fastest rider on track, eventually established an advantage that left him in a comfortable position towards the end to take the moto win with ease.
With his 2-1 scorecard, he claimed his second successive overall victory in succession and also gained a considerable amount of ground in the standings. He now trails the series leader by just 15 points with three rounds remaining.
“It was another solid day,” exclaimed Sterry. “I pumped up in race one, so wasn’t too happy with that one. In the second moto I got into the lead, put the hammer down and ended up winning by a good margin. We have made good improvements and were solid throughout. We have a week off now, so I will have some rest and get ready for the final stint.”
Steve Turner commented: “It was good day for us really but I was still left somewhat frustrated. Shaun rode superbly considering his hand is still not 100 per cent and looked like he had the second race win and the overall in the bag before a lapper ruined his day.
“His position in the championship is still looking good but could have been much better.
“Adam frustrated in the first race, he knows he’s the fastest rider, the other riders know he’s the fastest rider, but he lacked the killer instinct and failed to make a pass stick on Bryan McKenzie for far too long and it cost him the race win.
“In the second race he did what we expect of him, made a decisive move for the lead on the opening lap and dominated the competition as he rode off into the distance. When he rides like that he’s unstoppable and none of the contenders can live with him.”